Larkin brings a perfect 3-0 record to this tournament (Photo courtesy of Bellator).
Eric Larkin Announced as First Competitor
Bellator Fighting Championships has confirmed that it will host a featherweight tournament during its fourth season, which is slated to get underway this March. The promotion also announced Eric Larkin (3-0) as the first participant to join the tournament, with the winner of the competition earning a title shot against current champion Joe Warren.
“I’m thrilled to announce Eric Larkin as our first confirmed participant in our upcoming featherweight tournament,” Bellator Chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney remarked. “Eric has unlimited potential in this sport, and I’m excited to see how he does in this stacked tournament.”
Representing the Lion’s Den in Scottsdale, Arizona, Larkin trains alongside unbeaten Bellator Welterweight Champion Ben Askren, and he enters this tournament with three first round stoppages on his resume. The former standout wrestler at Arizona State University won an NCAA National Championship in 2009, competing at 149 pounds. After finishing up his college degree, the Scottsdale native turned to professional Mixed Martial Arts in April of last year and needed just 69 seconds to earn the submission win in his MMA debut against Bob Tuttle. He followed up that victory with another when he struck out Bruce Johnson just a month later, which landed him a match with Marcus Andrusia at Bellator 28 last September. After finishing his opposition with a guillotine choke at the 2:46 mark of the opening frame, Larkin punched his ticket into the Bellator Season 4 Featherweight Tournament.
“I'm definitely looking forward to this upcoming tournament,” Larkin confirmed. “I know there are going to be some really tough guys in there. I'm not taking anyone lightly. I'm going to do my thing and get after it. I like fighting back-to-back, so it's going to be fun.”
After competing as a lightweight in his first three professional pairings, Larkin will now drop to featherweight for the first time to take part in this tournament. Making the transition is something he feels will only have positive results.
“The major benefits I'm going to get from dropping down to 145 are primarily going to be strength and leverage,” Larkin said. “I definitely feel like I'm going to be stronger at 145 than I would be at 155. At lightweight, there are guys cutting down from 180 and 190 to make the weight, and I'm not even close to that. I think this cut to featherweight is going to be great for me.”
Each fight of the Bellator Featherweight Tournament will be aired on MTV2, which recently entered a three-year agreement with the promotion.